Ragas gives post-Katrina insight
Dr. Wade Ragas, retired UNO professor and local real estate expert spoke at the Saints Board of Realtors General Membership meeting on March 23rd at Ormond Country Club.
Dr. Ragas spoke about effects and the recovery of the New Orleans metro area since Hurricane Katrina. His data provided that 210,000 homes were damaged in Louisiana, which is five times more than Hurricane Andrew in Florida. 85,000 homes were severely damaged. This has left Louisiana with 240,000 lost jobs. However he feels that the job market should be nearing recovery in four to six months. Dr. Ragas said, “It is imperative that getting jobs back be a main focus of recovery.” 20,000 jobs were lost in the medical field alone. The American Medical Administration reports between 3000-4000 doctors have relocated outside Louisiana.
Rental housing units are at a full capacity, with a waiting list, but are now beginning to shorten. 13,000 multi-family units will not recover, mostly in the New Orleans east area. He stated that the New Orleans east area is the slowest in recovery effort.
For recreational fishermen to commercial fishermen, Venice and the Fourchon are recovering nicely. He does not feel that Grand Isle will ever fully recover.
Dr. Ragas shared with the local realtors that neighboring Jefferson and Baton Rouge parishes will run a close race on the fastest growing parishes in the state the next year or so. He provided stats that St. John Parishes’ population pre-Katrina was 43,000 and post-Katrina, 47,000. The growth is expected within 3 years to climb to 55,000. In St. Charles Parish, the population was 48,000 pre-Katrina, and is now at 53,000. In St. Charles, projected population growth in three years to be 60,000.
Dr. Ragas now retired from UNO has been traveling around with this presentation to educate many audiences in different facets of business and industry. SBR President, Ben Oubre encouraged its members to digest the information provided by Dr. Ragas to enhance the real estate industry in the saints parishes.